by DAVID FLINT – WE WILL decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come, declared John Howard in the 2001 election, one which the pundits had declared he was doomed to lose.
He won in a landslide, demonstrating that Australians place a very high priority on electing governments they believe will effectively protect our borders.
It now seems that the High Court’s decision on the release from detention of illegal immigrants and the Albanese Government’s mishandling of the issue has triggered renewed interest among people smugglers as this column warned of last year. [April 2022]
Australians are bewildered by the Court bending over backwards to benefit those whom most Australians see as unworthy, just as in the 2010 election, the High Court rushed to hear claims by voters in breach of the electoral law.
There can be little doubt that most Australians believe this is a problem for the Government, and the Government alone, to deal with.
For most, the plaintiff NZYQ, guilty of raping a 10-year-old boy, was not someone to be released from detention.
As to there “being no real prospect of removal from Australia becoming practicable in the reasonably foreseeable future”, the rank and file’s most likely reaction is: “Well, that’s the Government’s fault. They should have seen this coming,” and, “Anyway, what’s it got to do with the judges?”
There was a time, two decades ago, when the judges would have agreed. In fact two decades ago, the High Court so ruled.
Notwithstanding that this is, as lawyers say, “non-justiciable”, that is something not for the courts, the government should have realised that in giving leave to the plaintiff to argue against the precedent, the government was on notice that change was on the judges’ agenda. They should have been ready, including finding a destination for the detained.
Now, in overruling the High Court precedent, the judges were effectively amending the constitution, and that without a referendum.
Should not the people be able have a say on this, just as they did over the Voice?
A constitutional convention of unpaid delegates elected by the people to review their – I stress their – constitution is long overdue.
It would be the first since federation. Given that a convention under the Corowa Plan proved the only way to save the federation project, it offers the likely solution to our problems of politicians dragging us down today.
And if the mishandling of illegal immigration by the Albanese Government were not enough, they have surprisingly granted more than 850 visas to people from Gaza.
Who did they ask for police clearances? Hamas?
As Dr David Adler explained in a recent interview on ADH TV, the barbaric attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7 was facilitated by their being equipped with the most detailed information, even down to the location of safe rooms in houses. This can only have been provided by workers from Gaza cleared by Israeli intelligence.
As opposition home affairs spokesman James Paterson points out, former ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis told Senate estimates in 2019 that the “security assessments that you have to undertake for cohorts like this can take months at a time. So, to grant more than 800 visas in just six weeks would be an extraordinary level of efficiency”.
Without officers on the ground, and no authority but Hamas, this is worse than foolhardy.
Little wonder, then, that the overall standing of the Albanese Government is in decline, probably precipitously so.
With May 14, 2025, the last feasible date for an election, Albanese has little more than a year to reverse this.
Peter Dutton is emerging as the sort of strong leader Australians want.
Disgraceful attempts to stamp him as a “protector of paedophiles” have not worked. They are a sign of panic.
It has lowered respect for a prime minister seen as more interested in self-indulgent international photo opportunities than the real problems electors are facing.
The commentariat position that prime ministers must engage in vast amounts of international travel is supported neither by the electorate nor by the facts.
Even the surrender of the Port of Darwin, the suspension of our water-tight WTO complaint and embarrassing kowtowing to Dictator Xi – just as his navy was acting aggressively and dangerously to ours – has impressed neither the Australian electorate nor the dictator whose contempt he has no doubt earned.
In addition, the ambivalence within Labor towards Israel, the only State in the Middle East where Arabs can vote effectively and enjoy full human rights, is damaging Labor among immigrant communities and those of various religions, and no religion, experienced with and wary of radical Islamic extremists, as well as the well-informed.
Though Albanese was “protected” by sympathisers in the mainstream media both in the election and in a record honeymoon, even they are showing signs of losing patience.
The rejection of a referendum seen as racist – and then dangerously investing an activist High Court with more power – especially by traditionally Labor voters, was a far greater blow to the Government than admitted by the commentariat.
Not only did rejection of the Voice bury “the” republic, it increased dissent by the rank and file on the near-canonisation of anyone claiming Aboriginal descent, no matter how minuscule or non-existent, as well as the sacralisation of flags, however recent, artwork, ceremonies, however fabricated and endless, and the too often repetitive and formulaic recitals of respect to elders “past, present and emerging”.
With an immigration policy seemingly out of control, a significant fall in living standards across so many Labor electorates, the cost of housing now beyond most young Australian families, the serious cost-of-living crisis, the endorsement of dubious assertions of delivering unaffordable and unreliable energy attracting enormous environmental damage all in support of questionable theories of climate catastrophism, electricity no longer affordable and probably soon to be unreliable, as well as the hypocrisy of the massive “carbon footprints” created especially by Albanese and Bowen, means the Albanese Government seems doomed to the one-term existence this journal has long predicted.PC